Fishers' Reel o' Buckie (The)

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FISHERS' REEL O' BUCKIE, THE. Scottish, Reel. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by blind musician Hugh Inner of Sutherlandshire. A note in Aberdeenshire fiddler-composer Alexander Walker's collection (1866) says "this reel inserted by request as it was the subject of some discussion in the Banffshire Journal in 1864 and was never before published." Walker, who was a sometime contributor to the paper, and one of its agents for two years, posted a query about the tune in the Fall of 1864, and remarked, "it is quite an original composition, and appears to be the effusion of a spirit-stirring performer, who appears to have been possessed of better practice than theory in the art of music, as the tune is in the major mode, and set in A, but no sharps are introduced as the proper representatives of mode of the composition. However, when the performer puts them in for himself, it makes a lively reel...it is the composition of some one who had wielded a magic bow-arm at weddings, balls, and such like merry-makings, in some part of the north-east coast of Scotland many years ago." His querry was answered by one A. Urquhart, and Walker the letter he received to the paper for publication:

A. Walker, Castle Newe
Ardelach, Bellivat, Nairnshire,
28th January, 1865

Mr. Walker
I thank you for kindly sending copy of the reel I referred to in a late issure of the Banffshire Journal.

I herewith send you copy of the tune I possessed, which I supposed to be the same as that first noticed in an MS by Mr. James Davidson, of New Pitsligo, in the Journal, some time ago. The reel I send you appears, as you will see, to be the same composition as the "Fisher' Reel of Buckie." The tune in my possession is the composition of blind Hugh Inner (alias 'Cuttie') who used to frequent the south shore of the Moray Firth some 50 years ago, and who ultimately settled in Fraserburgh some 40 years ago, and I think he married there. Hugh used to reserve this reel until the bedding of the bride at all the weddings he used to play at. Hence it used to be called for, and became a great favourite in his day all along the coastside towns south of the Moray Firth--"Buckie," of course, included. I am, Sir, yours truly,

A. Urquhart

See also "Bedding of the Bride (1)."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Walker (A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Marches, &c.), 1866; No. 26, p. 10.

Recorded sources:




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